We have been producing audiobooks since 1996, and we have had our own bespoke studio space in central London since 2002.
We are particularly well-equipped to produce children’s audiobooks, thanks to our network of musicians and editors. We also possess a sound effects library of over 10,000 items and we can commission or create new music and/or effects for titles recorded in our studio. Our SoundCloud page features some examples of our work for children.
If a recording cannot take place at our studio in Clerkenwell, we have connections with studios located around the world. We have recorded in Glasgow, Manchester, Barbados, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Melbourne.
We possess a number of assets which allow us to stand out from the crowd. We possess a high-end Canon DSLR camera, and ARRI lights, which can be utilised for professional quality stills and video (1080p) – examples of which can be found on our blog.
We can call upon the services of a network of native language readers and speakers; in the past we have drawn upon their expertise in New Testament Greek, Polish, Latin, Hungarian, German, and more.
We can provide audio restoration services. We possess recorders for reel-to-reel tape, cassette, DAT, vinyl, and other media. Our ProTools recording software is equipped with powerful plug-ins which can eliminate tape hiss, vinyl crackle, and other noises. Please contact us for a quote.
Technical specifications for our studio in Clerkenwell, London.
Main studio microphones are Neumann U89s, chosen rather than the more common U87 since it has a hypercardioid pattern. We have two.
For multi-voice work, instruments and location work, we use AKG C1000Ss. We have four.
For one or two voices, we feed directly into Focusrites (see Preamp below), but for more, or where a premix is required, we have a Mackie Onyx 1220.
Mic Preamps and Outboard
The Neumanns are fed into Focusrite ISA430 MkII Producer Packs, of which we have two. This channel is derived from the famous Neve mixing desks of the 1980s, and has wonderfully flexible and natural-sounding compression and EQ, and a very transparent and airy quality. However, we tend to just ‘tame’ the signal and leave it unprocessed, since the plug-ins on our Pro Tools system are so capable, but non-destructive.
Digital Audio Workstation
We have the industry-standard Avid (Digidesign) Pro Tools HD running on Apple Macintosh G5s with Fireface UFX interface. Plug-ins include Waves Q10 and C1 and Maxim, and we have Bomb Factory emulations of the famous 1176 and LA2-A compressors, as well as Izotope denoising software.
Genelec 803 A monitor loudspeakers in the control room.
Beyerdynamic DT150 headphones.
Sony CDP-D12 CD player.
Sony PCM-R300 DAT player (used to provide real-time back-up of whole sessions).
Tascam Portable flash card recorder DR-100 MKII for location recording. Yamaha Pocketrak portable digital recorder for interviews and short-duration location recording.
The studio normally works at 44.1 kHz sampling rate at 16-bit depth, since this is appropriate to the CDs which are normally the end-product, but we can work up to 96 kHz and 24 bit.
We believe that the relationship between reader and producer is crucial to any recording, and our spacious green room facilitates planning and discussion in order to ensure the best performance possible. We have found that 90 minute recording blocks are best to maintain freshness and concentration, and is usually possible to fit four of these in a working day.
We have a good record of facilitating great readings from first time readers, or readers of their own material, notably so in 2014 when Elmear McBride’s recording of her debut novel A Girl is a Half-formed Thing won an Earphone award.